Utility Scale Solar Generation at Colorado Springs Utilities

#energy #renewable #power #electrical #solar #generation

Pike Solar is the largest solar facility in the Coloado Springs Utilities electric system, consisting of 400,000 photovoltaic panels. Through our Power Purchase Agreement with Juwi, we are able to use the 175-megawatts generated by the solar plant to power approximately 46,300 homes a year.

Steve Schaarschmidt, PE. Transmission Operations engineer with Colorado Spring Utilities, will describe this system and distribution systems needed to support this new renewable resource.

This presentation will begin with an introduction to the grid-following inverter, then explore the medium-voltage collection system and the interconnection to the high-voltage transmission system. It will cover the operating characteristics of utility-scale solar generation, experience to date between the array owner and the hosting utility, as well as some problems that come along with these installations.

Presentation will be both in-person and virtual.  Attendees can attend both in-person or virtually. The virtual presentation will be via zoom. The zoom link to join the presentation will be sent to all registrants who have indicated on the registration form that they are attending the meeting virtually. The link will be sent out shortly before the meeting.

Parking for In-Person Presentation: When arriving at the Mesa Rd. facility please park in the back (east side) of the building and enter through the doors labelled “Mesa Conference Room

Refreshments: Pizza, soda and water will be provided for the in-person presentation.

Solar Field Site Visit: Colorado Springs Utilities is in the process of arranging an on-site visit to the solar field for the day after the presentation, May 16, at 6:30PM. A separate event notice will be sent out to all registered attendees (or given out at the presentation) if the on-site visit can be successfully arranged. 




  Date and Time




  • Date: 15 May 2024
  • Time: 06:30 PM to 08:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada)
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  • Colorado Springs Utilities Conservation & Environmental Center
  • 2855 Mesa Rd.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • United States
  • Building: Please park in the back (east side) of the building and enter through the doors labelled “Mesa Conference Room
  • Room Number: Mesa Conference Room

  • Contact Event Hosts
  • Starts 03 May 2024 12:00 AM
  • Ends 15 May 2024 12:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Steve Schaarschmidt of Colorado Springs Utilities


Utility Scale Solar Generation at Colorado Springs Utilities


Bio: Steve Schaarschmidt received a minor electric shock as a child and has been fascinated with all things electrical and electronic ever since. His start in amateur radio as a teenager led him to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned his BSEE degree with an emphasis in Electric Power. He joined IEEE as a student, came to work at Colorado Springs Utilities as an engineering intern and moved into a permanent position in 1984. Through the distance learning program, he completed his Master of Engineering degree, again with an emphasis in Electric Power, through the University of Colorado at Denver and then earned his Colorado Professional Engineer license. From 2007 through 2018, he also taught a two-course sequence in Electric Power Systems at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Steve has worked as an engineer in the areas of Distribution Planning, Substation Design, Protective Relaying, Transmission Operations, and the Downtown Network. He still believes that a power system works because it is mostly made up of dedicated human beings!



Pizza and Drink